Invitational Round Table
“Evidence-based Voice and Speech Rehabilitation in Head and Neck Cancer”

Amsterdam, The Netherlands
May 15-16, 2008

Articulatory Aerodynamics, Contact Pressures and Sense of Effort During Tracheoesophageal Speech

Jeff Searl

Hearing and Speech Department, University of Kansas Medical Center, Kansas City, Kansas, USA

Objectives: The purposes of this study were to: 1) describe sense of effort (SOE) associated with speech, oral air pressure (Po), articulatory contact pressure (ACP), and subneoglottal pressure (Psub) in tracheoesophageal (TE) speech, and 2) evaluate the relationships between these measures. The intent was to inform about articulatory alterations in TE speech with a future goal of guiding therapeutic interventions that serve to balance the physical demands of producing intelligible TE speech with the perceived work of generating the speech.

Patients/Materials and Methods: Thirty four TE speakers provided ratings of SOE. ACP, Po and Psub were measured during production of alveolar consonants.

Results: Po, ACP, Psub, and SOE were higher than what is reported for nonlaryngectomized speakers. The primary locations identified by subjects as having increased SOE were the lips and tongue, followed by the brain (i.e., cognitive effort), voice, and lungs. Individuals who reported elevated SOE had higher ACP and Po than those who did not report an increase in SOE. SOE, ACP and Po were all moderately to strongly correlated with each other.

Conclusions: More than half of the TE speakers reported elevated SOE. ACP, and also Po appear to be possible physiologic correlates of internal SOE. These parameters could serve a useful therapeutic function as feedback to individuals with a goal of optimizing physical effort while maintaining the perceptual integrity of the consonants being produced.

Keywords: oral pressure, contact pressure, articulation, effort

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Searl, Jeff (2008): "Articulatory aerodynamics, contact pressures and sense of effort during tracheoesophageal speech", In EVSR-2008, 19-40.